DS23: Jogeshwari Communal Riots Interview
Cinematographer: Surbhi Sharma, Nasreen Contractor, Anil Ingale
Duration: 01:30:31; Aspect Ratio: 1.333:1; Hue: 198.851; Saturation: 0.157; Lightness: 0.373; Volume: 0.106; Cuts per Minute: 2.739
Summary: YUVA had decided to make a documentary film on the duties of Police and the rights of citizens. During that time communal riots broke out in Bombay because of the demolition of Babri Masjid (Ayodhya issue-6th December 1992). This video is about the atrocities on people residing in Bandra Plot, Jogeshwari, by Police. This is narrated by the victim’s own words. It tells of the discrimination done by Police, in terms of religion and class.
Title: A meeting with Victims of Bombay riots, who are from Jogeshwari.
It starts with an interview of a lady who describes how the police went berserk while searching for miscreants in their chawl. Police knock their door down when they didn’t open the door. But they didn’t arrest anyone as her son was too young to involve in such mob violence. The house represents the class of the people who are often at the receiving end.
Bashir Akbar, a man who wasn’t as lucky to escape from the clutches of Police, got arrested in the case of Bombay riots. He was unaware of the charges for which he got arrested. He doesn’t have previous criminal records. He informs how police had beaten him with lathi. He complains that he was not given medical aid and the wound he sustained throughout this incident is painful too.
Bashir is a zari worker who claims to not involve in such civil disorder. His wife knew that he will be taken to Borivali Police Station.
Salma also narrates a similar incident like Bashir but here, her son, who repairs AC to meet three square meals a day, got arrested and not herself. When Police tried to open and break down the locked door, she got hurt on her forehead.
Ibrahim Maqbool, another resident of this chawl also got arrested; he alleges that Police had used guns to beat him. He also states that he was uninformed of the charges on which he is arrested. He stays in the police station for almost a week and then he was released.
His wife tells how their son got himself saved by getting arrested.
Arifa Khan, requests women to know about the whereabouts of the present situation and be alert of any wrong development. She stresses - Women should inform about any development in the chawl which can ignite the Bombay riots further. She believes that women can reduce the differences among people. She also tries to make other people understand that we (Muslim) are not the only one who are facing the problem in this communal riot; this can be only understood if Muslims try to visit other Hindu colonies. She pleads people to stay in peace and foster a good relationship irrespective of religion.
Again, Ibrahim Maqbool , whose earning is through of profession of being an electrician, accuses that police didn’t provide them with any food and water. Someone interrupts from background and says he was told to drink his own urine if he feels thirsty at all, he acknowledges it. He alleges that there are many people who are still not released.
Sayed Hussain, did not get arrested like others where Mumbai Police breaks down the door and pulls them out from the terrace. His case is different, he got arrested while asking questions to police that why are they trying to break down his neighbour’s house.
He put his belief to people that if common people will be arrested for no reason, they will also become hooligans and ruffians. He also acquaints us that since curfew was imposed on that day of the particular year, they didn’t move out of their house at all; and still they got arrested.
He displays the injuries he sustained on his hand, which will affect his work and livelihood for a month.
Umar Ali narrates the situation he faced: Police had asked them to open the door although initially his wife refused to open the door she finally did open it. Five to six policemen entered and took him and his son, Shaikh Feroz - a 14-year old, to Police station. Policemen while beating them, asked: “Do you want to build Muslim and Temple?”
He stayed for seven days in police station whereas his son was released on 3rd day, and he alleges that his son was released only after they provided bribe to them (Rupees 350). He was presented in court before a Magistrate and then was taken to the police station. A tailor, by profession, he also didn’t have any previous criminal records or had visited police station ever before. ..
His wife also talks about threats, firings and warnings.
Lanes of Jogeshwari is shown.
Mehboob Ali, also hides on his terrace and shuts the door to avoid arrest, but eventually was dragged to Police station. His family tells that their children were crying when he was getting arrested. He had also spent one week in jail and been presented in court before a Magistrate.
Visuals of damaged door, which was destructed by Police, had been mended.
A Hindu woman, who is apparently the neighbour of Mehboob Ali, opines that it is incorrect of the Police to take people into their custody from their home without any evidence. She suggests police should arrest people when they are creating riots.
This tall building represents upper class of the same area; that are not affected to great extent, neither got arrested on the basis of doubt.
The bold message written on Breach Candy Police Station’s welcome plate: “May I help you?” is an irony.
The camera zooms out and shows the taxi and people to understand the difference of the pain in urban poor and urban rich. It also shows the spirit of Mumbai, as it is still trying to lead a normal life in riots.
A group of young boys belonging to upper class strata of the society discusses about their daily life: Watching Movies, Bunking Lectures, and Checking out Girls.
Police meted out their action on different yardstick on people, belonging to same area but to different class.
Khalil ahmed, also echoed similar voice and pain of Ibrahim, Maqbool and many others.
His wife alleges that police have arrested around 46 people from their chawl itself.
Saidool Malik Zari, a zari-worker got arrested from his work place. He alleges that he was brutally beaten and tortured when he did run, when police had asked him to do so. He is also released after spending eight days in the police station. He shows his wounded leg.
An old man who is superior to Saidool, is narrating the incident of police’s action: forcefully opening the windows and arresting the young boy. He also says the young boy doesn’t even know why is he arrested, and how Saidool got panicked when police were looking out for him.
Broken panes of windows are proof of Saidool’s allegation.
He displays the injury and scars on his hand.
A woman, the owner of the shop narrates the incident and alleges that police were beating men’s vital organs so they could kill them on the spot. She also tells how she reacted while her husband and his sidekick were getting arrested.
Imitiyaz Ali Khan also accuses the police of breaking down door on the day curfew was imposed on the particular area, and later arresting any young and healthy kid without any evidence. He also shows the injuries on his body. He also alleges that police have beaten them harshly and treated them cruelly.
A woman from Imityaz’s house alleges that police have not listen or pay heed to their request. They were pleading to leave his son but they didn’t show any mercy.
Interviews of few more victim of Police third degree torture is shown. They didn’t wish to reveal their identity.
Shots of Jogeshwari, Bandra plot representing the after effect in the minds of people.
Habib Ahmed Shaikh, allegedly died in the Police firing. His family accuses that they were not provided by any help from Police. They also allege that four more men got hit by bullets.
Shariq, a casualty in police firing. He got hit by bullet and is now on bed rest. He cannot work and get his wages.
A young guy narrates how he escaped from getting hit by bullets in police firing.